Community Foundation Set to Award Grants

WALDORF - 1/12/2009

The Community Foundation of Charles County has some exciting news, especially considering the current state of the local, state and national economies.

Next week, the Foundation will be announcing its first round of community grants. Twelve-thousand dollars will be given back to the community  in the form of grants for non-profit organizations, governmental units and/or educational institutions. The grants are set to address the needs identified in the recently completed Priority Needs Assessment Report.

The Foundation’s goal is to address the needs in each of the Foundation's six focus areas. “At this time of shrinking budgets and receding revenues, we are very excited to be able to offer this funding to the community,” said Gretchen Heinze Hardman, Executive Director

The CFCC invites proposals for projects that address the priority needs of Charles County, as identified in the March 2008 Priority Needs Assessment for Charles CountyThe grant funding originates from the CFCC’s Community or unrestricted fund and is sustained by broad-based public donations for use in meeting the changing and emerging needs of Charles County.

Organizations with the appropriate non-profit status must address one or more of the needs identified in one or more of the following six focus areas of the report: Arts and Culture; Education and Scholarships; Environment; General Community Improvements; Health and Wellness; and Youth Initiatives. The Community Fund Grant Program and its Grant Guidelines can be found at www.charlescommunityfoundation.org.

In 2007, with the collaboration of the Charles County Commissioners and the United Way of Charles County, CFCC initiated a county-wide process to determine the most pressing needs in each of their six focus areas. The broad-based public process included consumers, administrators, providers, advocates and citizens, along with a consultant and a twenty-two member steering committee. At the conclusion of the study, priority needs were identified in each focus area. Once the needs were identified, they were described and framed in the context of the community and a potential set of opportunities to address each of them was compiled

Organizations need to be able to prove their eligibility for the program. In order to qualify, organizations must qualify as the following:
• 501(c)3 organizations and other charitable organizations
• Governmental units
  o Municipal Government - Within municipal governments that serve Charles County, each department is    considered a separate entity and would be eligible to receive one grant per calendar year.
• Educational institutions
• Schools - Each elementary, middle or high school in Charles County is considered a separate entity and would be eligible to receive one grant per calendar year;
o Higher Education - Each department of a two- or four-year college or university is considered a separate entity and would be eligible to receive one grant per calendar year.

CFCC accepts proposals requesting funding for the following:
• programs which serve to further the mission of the organization;
• demonstration projects if accompanied by a sound evaluation plan;
• new or special projects and/or collaborations undertaken by an organization; and,
• matching funds required by another funding agency.
• proposals must benefit the residents of Charles County.